Phillip Road has provided a convenient and accommodating home since our first film last September. Caretaker Nigel Nash and centre manager Ken Smith could not have been more supportive. Even so, there have been obstacles along the way: I won’t quickly forget the three shows in which the projector turned itself off before we finally discovered the timer problem; and the best that can be said for the seats is that were keeping fit carrying them in and out of the bunker.
But the biggest challenge of all is the acoustics. The hard parquet floor and brick walls may have been perfect for assembly harangues and country dancing classes, but they create a harsh, uncompromising environment for film sound. Sometimes we have been our own worst enemy: did we have a hope in hell with Jeff Bridges’ Southern drawl, filtered through a country music beard? But we all knew that something had to be done to improve the situation. Which is why, over the last month or so we have invited three different experts in the business to demonstrate how we can improve our set-up. Its too early to say what the outcome will be, but safe to say weve turned down Bose and been hugely impressed by the set up devised by Wivenhoes own Rick Cawley.
Great films, great sound, and the best cinema ice creams in Essex: that really would be something.